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Archives: February 2011

One (1) photo a day, Cambodia, Kelly and Anthony Rae Photography, Day 4

One of the many types of beer available in Cambodia, is Angkor Draft. Apparently Cambodia consumes 14 litres per capita, the least of all the Southeast Asian countries.

One issue surrounding beer companies and restaurants are the “Cambodian Beer Sellers (called locally “beer girls”, a derogatory term, or “beer promoters” or “promotion girls” by their companies) exclusively sell one brand of beer in bars and restaurants. Some work on commission and others receive a monthly salary; either way, they earned only $US81 – about half the income ($158) needed to support their family in 2009. To supplement their income, about half accept propositions from tourists and local beer drinkers and exchange sex for money.” source

A photo a day, Day 4

The rest of the one photo a day series can be found here:

One (1) photo a day Cambodia, Kelly and Anthony Rae Photography – Day 1

In order to improve my photography and challenge myself, I am attempting to do a-photo-a-day for the month of February. Lots of people start these things – often for a year, but never finish. I figure a month (the shortest month at that) would be a more achievable goal to set.

There are 28 days in February this year, so it means 28 photos. The photos posted in this series will be of a general interest nature – no theme yet, but all based in Camboda and reflecting on life here as a volunteer.

So here is the photo for day 1, 1st of February 2011. This is a picture of the ‘Cambodian Daily’ one of the two main English newspapers in Cambodia. It often contains articles from other newswires so it has a lot of international news, but also publishes local news as well. I thought it a fitting picture to start of this daily photo series.

A photo a day in Cambodia, Day 1

The rest of the one photo a day series can be found here:

Kampot, Cambodia – Travel Photography

From a recent trip to Kampot. A couple are of the old buildings in the town and the rest are of people fishing from the river.

Orussei Market in Black and White, Travel Photography, Cambodia

Eight images from around the Orussei Market in Black and White. All shot with a Nikon D700 & 50mm f1.4 lens combo:

Oudong, Phnom Penh Cambodia – Travel Photography

40kms north of Phnom Penh is a town called Oudong. During 1618 to 1866, Oudong was the capital of Cambodia until it was abandoned by King Norodom who moved the capital to Phnom Penh. It was heavily bombed by Americans during the Vietnam War  and a site of intense fighting in 1977 between Khmer Rouge forces and Lon Nol forces.

It’s a good day trip out of Phnom Penh and takes about 1.5 hours in a tuk tuk.

Angkor Wat – Series of 5

Finally after about seven months of living in Cambodia, we took a long weekend trip up to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex. I’ve edited down the many hundreds of photos to what I think are the top 5 images from the trip. There are many, many more images that I would have loved to include, but then I would have too many images! Angkor Wat is a place for photographers as there are opportunities for amazing photos everywhere.

There is one image from Angkor Wat, three images from Ta Prohm and one from Bayon. These are the main three temples to visit at Angkor Wat. I did visit a few smaller temples and they were just as impressive in their structure and with the trees and undergrowth intertwined with the stone.

The set of 5 images are available as framed prints, canvas art from our redbubble store. They would make a great feature on your wall at home.

Water Festival, Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2010

The Cambodia Water Festival or ‘Bon Om Tuk’ in Khmer is the largest festival in the Cambodian calendar. The 3-day Water Festival in Phnom Penh celebrates the end of the rainy season and coincides with the flow of the Tonle Sap river changing direction.

The highlight of the Water Festival are the boat races, where highly decorated boats from each village race over the three days. Thousand of Khmers descend on Phnom Penh to watch the races from the shore and cheer on their villages boat, which can have up to 80 oarsmen/women as they race down the Tonle Sap.

During this time Phnom Penh takes on a carnival atmosphere, and as well as the river banks being lined with exuberant spectators there are also live concerts, hundreds of food stands, games of chance, fair rides, and at night fireworks light up the sky and people dance in the street.

This year however, the Water Festival ended with tragedy when a stampede on the Koh Pich bridge left approximately 350 people dead and a similar number injured. ( Our prayers and concern are with those who lost friends and family during this awful event.

Cambodia and Vietnam Calendars

We have put together one calendar with photos capturing the colour and life of Cambodia and another of Vietnam, which can be purchased here at these two links:

50% of profits from each calendar will be donated to work by TEAR Australia and Task in the area of Community and Sanitation Development, in the Mean Chey District:

They make the perfect Christmas presents for family and friends.

Monks, Motos and Meat

Since I have returned back to Cambodia with a my new camera I’ve been mainly using the 50mm and it’s great. The ability to shoot at high ISO’s (3200 – 6400) for situations where there is not much light has opened up a whole new area. The image quality is also a step up using a different sensor from my previous camera. The dynamic range is also very impressive, being able to to recover images that are over exposed or bring up shadow detail in areas which are dark. It’s one other big difference I have noticed and makes a huge difference, in particular the high contrast images. On the whole, I’m very please with the new camera and the quality of images it has been producing. Here are some photos from in and around Phnom Penh as it’s been a while since the last update.

Image 1 – Monks looking at an aerial photograph at the National Museum in Phnom Penh
Image 2 – Three moto drivers waiting for business
Image 3 – A woman selling meat at the Russian Market

Playing at the Olympic Stadium

The White Building

Just around the corner from Naga World, stands the White building. It was an architectural project carried out by the Cambodian architect Vann Molyvan but was halted in 1975 during the Khmer Rouge rule. Vann was the most talented of a large group of architects who contributed to the unique and authentic style of architecture that emerged during this era and that has been coined New Khmer Architecture. Although the construction was only half completed the building was nevertheless occupied. At the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, the inhabitants remained in the White Building. With more than 3000 inhabitants, many of which are involved in the sex industry, they make this place their home, surrounded by the decaying walls and rubbish of the White building. (reference:

The Market (Part 2)

I posted part 1 here and this is a follow up post. The following images were taken at the Russian Market. Two additional food images plus some other common items that you can find in the Russian Market, mainly in the souvenir section.

Interesting Fact – The Russian Market was featured on Amazing Race (Season 15) when they had to find a person in a stall with a matching scarf.

Market - Cucumber

Market - Onion

Market - Bells

Market - More Bells

Market - Scarf

The Market (part 1)

There are many markets in Phnom Penh (and in Cambodia). They all sell a variety of goods ranging from clothes and shoes, through to electronics, souvenirs and food. The main two markets are the Russian Market (Psah Toul Tom Poung in Khmer) which is popular with tourists and also Central Market (Psah Thmei) which is in a big yellow domed building. The Russian Market became the foreigner’s market during the 1980’s when most of the foreigners in Cambodia were Russians, hence the name ‘Russian Market.’

Here are three images of some food products you can find in the market.

At the Market - Fish

At the Market - Lime

At the Market - Garlic

Golden Sunset, Mekong River Cambodia

As the title suggests, this is a photo taken at sunset overlooking the Mekong River in Cambodia. The river provides many people with a living from fishing. Being the 7th largest river in Asia and the 12th largest in the world, it runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The fishing boat here is capture in the reflection of the sun’s rays on the water as it sets.

Golden Sunset, Mekong River Cambodia, Kelly and Anthony Rae Photography

Q: How many people can you fit in a Toyota Camry ?

A: 14

Toyota Camry - Anthony and Kelly Rae Photography - Cambodia

What’s in my boot ?

Just for fun…

What's in my boot ? Kelly and Anthony Rae Photograhy

Aerobics at Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium

This is basically part 2 of the previous post titled “Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium“. I mentioned how it’s quite popular for Cambodians to do aerobics in the mornings (5am – 7am) and evenings (5pm – 8pm) so here are two photos of the energetic Cambodians at the stadium taken at sunrise. Sorry for waking you up early Kelly !

Aerobics - Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium - Kelly and Anthony Photography

Aerobics - Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium - Kelly and Anthony Photography

Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium

The main stadium in Phnom Penh, it has a seating capacity of 50,000 and built in 1964. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, the stadium was used as a site for executions by officials under the administration of Lon Nol.

These days, the stadium and surrounding grounds are a popular place for morning and afternoon aerobics, lead by instructors. The parking lots provide room for hundreds of young khmers to have chaotic bare-foot soccer matches. Other facilities include an Olympic sized swimming pool and indoor volleyball court, another popular sport in Cambodia.

Here is a pretty interesting anecdote about the Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, involving Australia:

The stadium played a small part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Unexpectedly, North Korea faced Australia  in a qualifier. Because North Korea lacked diplomatic relations with most countries, finding a suitable venue for the match proved difficult, until Head of State Norodom Sihanouk, an ally of Kim Il-sung, said the matches could be held in Phnom Penh. The matches attracted 40,000 fans, with Sihounouk decreeing half would cheer for Australia, while the other half cheered the Koreans. The matches were held on 21 November 1965 and on 24 November 1965 with North Korea winning both (6–1 and 3–1). Because South Korea and all African teams had withdrawn in protests against FIFA, North Korea were thus directly qualified to the final tournament, where they reached the quarter-final. – Source:

Below is an image of a single person sitting on the stadium seats:

Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium - Kelly and Anthony Rae Photography

Raining and flooding in Phnom Penh

So the rainy season has been a bit late this year, but last Friday Phnom Penh experienced several hours of heavy rain which caused many parts of the city to be flooded. In some spots, the depth of the water on the roads was between 30cm and 60cm.

The rainy season in Cambodia is generally from May to October and they remainder of the year is the dry season. Generally the rain hits between 2pm and 3pm and lasts for an hour or so but it can rain for up to a week at a time.

The rains flood the streets of Phnom Penh mainly due to the drainage system in Phnom Penh not being able to cope with such large amounts of water. Although in recent years, there has been much speculation that the filling in of Beoung Kak Lake with sand to make way for new developments, has added to the cause of flooding as the water has no where to drain. (see article in Phnom Penh Post)

Travelling out in the provinces can be a bit of a struggle during the rainy season as dirt roads are often flooded and inaccessible but the main highways should not be a problem. It can be a great time to see Cambodia is it is the low season for tourists and the rains create a lush, green and beautiful countryside.

Some tips for when it’s raining and the streets flood.

  • Wear sandals – generally its too hot to wear closed shoes so you would be wearing sandals / flip flops anyway, but it if you’re going to be walking in the water, they will dry out quickly.
  • 50 cent ponchos – these bright coloured plastic ponchos are a cheap and relatively effective way to stay dry. They can be found at street stalls and markets.
  • If you’re living in Phnom Penh for a medium to long term, find out if your street floods and if the water recedes quickly. If you are in an area prone to flooding, it would be best if you live on the first floor or higher rather than the ground floor.
  • Be patience and wait indoors. Often there is a bit of warning before it rains, so if you are going out, plan to bring an umbrella, poncho for traveling and when it does rain, enjoy the many restaurants and cafes Phnom Penh has to offer.

Here are a couple of photo’s from the other day near the Royal Palace and Street 178.


I was riding home from work this week and saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky …

Rainbow - Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Anthony and Kelly Rae Photography

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